Patients may want to think twice before relying on supplements to treat high cholesterol

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Patients taking supplements to manage high cholesterol over medication might want to think twice about their decision, authors of a new study say.

Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic looked at 190 patients with high cholesterol, divided them into groups and followed them for 28 days. One group was assigned to take 5 mg of the statin, rosuvastatin. One group was given a placebo. The remaining groups were given supplements like fish oil, garlic and turmeric. 

Results showed taking supplements is 3.5 times less effective at lowering cholesterol compared to the statin. 

“Oftentimes these supplements are marketed as ‘natural ways’ to lower your cholesterol. Clearly statins do what they’re intended to do,” the authors write in the paper.  

They go on to say statins are the most effective heart attack and stroke prevention drugs that we have really ever seen.”

An estimated 60% of U.S. adults take a daily supplement over medication in an effort to manage chronic conditions such as heart and bone disease.